Kickstarter subscriptions

Conceptual Mobile Website Feature Addition

The Client:



To research and design the addition of a new feature to the Kickstarter mobile website. 


As part of a 3 person team, I utilized the following skills:

  • Teamwork

  • Survey Writing & Analysis

  • User Interviews & Testing

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Personas

  • Storyboarding

  • Task Analysis

  • Ideation & Prototyping

The Process:

For my first team based project, I worked with two other designers from my class. We decided to start by looking at businesses that could be competitors of Kickstarter if they were to add a subscription option to their projects. 

Competitive Analysis:

At first the thought was to compare Kickstarter to other crowdfunding services, but we quickly realized that by adding the subscription feature we would be introducing Kickstarter into a whole new branch of subscription based businesses which is where our attention should be focused.

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As It Stands Today:

Many Kickstarter projects are already offering "subscription" based rewards.


However, because Kickstarter can't process recurring payments, even "subscription" rewards are processed as large one-time payments

The Potential:

In fact, many more projects we found could benefit from a subscription option because they feature rewards that are one-time or limited use and can be used up over time.

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Project Creator:
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The Problem:

A project idea with a great idea needs to build a long lasting community of supporters to maintain a consistent backing past the initial funding period. 

The Solution:

An easy way to create subscription rewards that make sense for the Kickstarter project and maintain a strong consistent backer base. 

Sketching & Ideation:

Similar to creating the split Personas of both a creator and backer, the ideation process had to follow both the path of a person creating their subscription based project and the person looking to back a subscription type project. As the sole member of our team who'd had any previous experience with Kickstarter I took the lead in the ideation process helping the team understand how Kickstarter currently worked. 

Project Creator: Paper Prototype 

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The original idea on the creator's side was to keep the design as similar to its current design as possible. We started by adding a single option box to the reward creation form allowing the creator to make that reward a subscription rather than a one time reward.

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Necessary Split Focus:

It quickly became apparent that we would need to split our focus to create this new feature as we would have to tackle the problem from both the project creator and the project backer's points of view. Thus leading us to two problem statements, personas, sets of prototype ideation, and solutions.

Project Backer:
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The Problem:

A potential backer needs a way to invest in a project over a prolonged period of time, but expects a consistent return on their investment.

The Solution:

Kickstarter subscription rewards that give backers a way to receive rewards multiple times and continue supporting Kickstarter campaigns for a longer period of time. 

Project Backer: Paper Prototype

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Similarly on the backer side, we wanted to keep the format as close to its current as possible to avoid messing with Kickstarter's current reward format.

User Testing:

Through user testing we learned that we made an error in trying to stick too closely to Kickstarter's current format while introducing a whole new feature system into play:

  • Users were confused by which rewards were subscription and which were not. They needed a way to visibly distinguish between the two. 

  • Users wanted to know what the total cost of the subscription rewards would be without having to do the math themselves.

  • Creators wanted navigation that would allow them to fully separate the creation of subscription rewards from the creation of normal rewards.

Digital Prototypes: Major Changes

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  • Make the frequency scannable, easy to read, and understand

  • Add the total cost to the reward box to create transparency 

  • Make the subscription reward box color a different shade from the regular rewards to avoid confusion

  • Create a 2nd tier navigation to separate out one-time rewards from their subscription counterparts

  • Rebuild the project creator screen to be more mobile friendly

  • Rebuild the subscription reward form to contain more accurate verbiage 

Next Steps:

  • Conduct research into the creation of mobile friendly forms to replace the clunky version currently used by the mobile website

  • Reach out to Kickstarter to see if there is any possibility of turning this concept project into a real addition to the site